Lower White Oak Canyon Falls #1, Virginia

The first lower falls encountered in White Oak Canyon in December 2011

As mentioned previously in Upper White Oak Canyon Falls, I visited Shenandoah National Park this past December, and decided to hike to see the falls in White Oak Canyon. On the hike, I counted at least seven larger waterfalls, and I believe the first lower falls I viewed was one of my favorites.

Now, this can get very confusing. There are two different places you can begin the hike. I started at a higher elevation and hiked downhill. You can also do the opposite, and therefore the order you view these falls will switch. The first falls you clearly see are the Upper Falls, which are obscured by trees. Keep hiking, and you’ll find a number of other falls. There may be a few falls upstream from this that just can’t be seen due to the angle of the canyon rocks.

I can’t remember how far from the trail I had to deviate to see the falls. I don’t believe it was a particularly long distance, maybe 100-200 feet or so? I did do some mild rock-hopping to get a better view of the falls, though. I personally think it is one of the more photogenic along the hike.

Directions:

  1. At the intersection of US-211 and Skyline Drive, head south on Skyline Drive.
  2. After five or six miles, you should see the parking area for the White Oak Canyon Trail, which is where your journey begins. It’s just after the entrance to the Skyland Resort.
  3. From here, follow the very clear signage for about 2.5 miles to the first falls. This is one of the first falls you will encounter if you continue along your journey. Be aware: the further downhill you progress, the longer the uphill climb you have. The uphill climb is where the difficulty lies.

Accessibility: 2/10 (strenuous)
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: 4.6 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Lower White Oak Canyon Falls #1?

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